The wind energy industry is one of the fastest growing ones in the country. In this CareerStint article, you will be given a brief about the average salary of a wind turbine technician, who is responsible for the creation, working, and maintenance of the wind turbine.
The first look of the onshore prototype of the Vertiwind 2MW direct drive, vertical-axis floating turbine, designed for waters up to 200 meters deep, has been revealed, as of July 28, 2014. The project was launched in 2006 by Nénuphar, a Lille-based company, co-founded by Charles Smadja and Frédéric Silvert.
― WINDPOWER Monthly
Producing energy from renewable sources such as water, sun, and wind is certainly the need of the hour. While the production of solar energy is increasing with the use of solar panels, solar water heaters, etc., the field of wind technology isn’t in the far corner either. This field is growing by leaps and bounds, as production of energy from wind is expected to leap in the decades to come, and consequently, qualified technicians will be needed in order to install the necessary components of a wind turbine. This machine, just like hydroelectric turbines, helps convert the natural wind energy into electric energy. This article will educate you about the job description, work environment, and the average salary of a wind turbine technician.
- A high school diploma or GED is of prime importance.
- A strong mechanical aptitude is necessary along with excellent technical skills.
- An associate’s degree or vocational training degree (mostly of 2 years) in wind turbine maintenance, electronics, and the like, is essential as a minimum requirement.
- Work experience in a related field will help you in getting qualified.
After completing the technical course, 12 months of on-the-job training is generally required. Many technical schools and community colleges have on-site turbines so that students can receive practical training as a part of their coursework.
- This job will require you to be physically strong and be able to climb at least 300 feet.
- You must enjoy traveling and working outdoors, as your work will take you to rural areas and other places where wind farms are located.
- You must be ready to work on weekends and holidays, in case of emergencies.
- You will be required to work in confined spaces, so it is essential that you do not suffer from claustrophobia.
The job description mainly involves tasks concerned with the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of wind turbines. They include:
- Collection of data for testing or research.
- Make sure the generator systems are working properly. If not, diagnose the problem and help solve it.
- Inspect and repair the turbine blades.
- Climb towers of more than 260 feet to check, maintain, or repair equipment.
- Assemble individual generators and help construct the wind farms.
- Perform regular maintenance on wind turbine equipment, underground transmission systems, wind field substations, and control systems.
- Test all the electrical components, with fiber optic equipment (for the fiberglass blades), infrared testers, voltage testers, and oscilloscopes.
- Test the mechanical and hydraulic systems periodically.
- Troubleshoot the malfunctions related to the different systems, like pitch, variable speed control, and converter systems.
Source: Indeed.com as of July 30, 2014. Figures are in US Dollars.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012, the average annual salary of windtechs according to the industries that hired them were as follows:
|Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
|Installation, maintenance, and repair of commercial, industrial machinery and equipment, excluding the automotive and electronic components
|Utility System Correction
- The starting salary for this field is reported to be around USD 35,860. This will continue until you are an expert in a particular domain or steadily rise up the ranks.
- A person with slightly more experience will earn around USD 41,680. As reported by the BLS, the median annual wage is around USD 49,490.
- Highly qualified professionals with plenty of experience under their belt are likely to earn USD 60,100, which may go as high as USD 74,500.
These technocrats also work on an hourly basis, either when they have a contract or when there are emergencies. Generally, the mean hourly wage is estimated to be around USD 25.5. However, the wind turbine technician salary range varies with designation, experience, skill, and the quality of delivered output.
The wind energy industry is expected to grow enormously over the next few decades. According to the BLS, the Renewable Electricity Standard calls for 25 percent of the U.S. electric power generation to come from renewable sources by 2025, and the wind technology has a healthy share in the market. As the requirement for more and more turbines grows, more and more technicians will be needed. Thus, the employment growth for this profile is projected to be on a high rise. Job prospects for qualified professionals are reported to be excellent, along with a decent pay packet.